It’s official: State Senator Nate Boulton is running for Iowa Governor. Like, literally running.
In an up-beat video that resembled a sports pep rally more than a typical campaign ad, Boulton showed off his marathon-running skills as he declared his candidacy. Asking Iowans to join the race with him, he touts his past success of suing the Branstad/Reynolds administration and opposing anti-worker Republican legislation.
“I’m running for governor to fight back,” Boulton declares in his video.
The decision to run caps off the first chapter in the recently-elected senator’s quick rise to prominence in Iowa politics (read our full profile of Boulton here). He’s held elected office for only four months, but became the face of the Democratic resistance at the Statehouse during the collective bargaining and workers compensation battles. Boulton is 36 years old, the same age that Terry Branstad was when he was first elected governor in 1982.
“I am excited to announce my campaign for Governor,” Nate Boulton said in a press release. “For too long the Branstad Reynolds agenda has been about holding people back and taking away. I launch this campaign for Governor knowing we are fighting for the soul of our state. We will put forth a vision for Iowa that enhances the quality of life for all Iowans by investing in education, rewards hard work, protects Iowa’s resources, and grows our rural economy.”
Boulton is holding his first campaign event in his hometown of Columbus Junction in Eastern Iowa this morning, which kicks off a six-day statewide tour that hits 16 towns and every media market. Tonight he ends his day with a large rally in his senate district at Peace Tree Brewing in Des Moines’ East Village.
Along with the video, Boulton released the names of his campaign steering committee. State Senator Pam Jochum will serve as the campaign chair. The group includes Melinda Jones, the chair of the IDP’s Women Caucus, well-connected attorney Tim Bottaro, RAYGUN owner Mike Draper and Senator Joe Bolkcom. Joe O’Hern is leaving his job as Dave Loebsack’s campaign manager to run Boulton’s gubernatorial effort. Here’s the full list:
Today’s rollout from Boulton seemed to fit the mood of the newly-energized Democratic base better than most other announcements so far this cycle. He took direct aim at Republicans for anti-worker laws, replayed the highlights of his fight at the Statehouse and generally projected a strong, confident personality. And he’s framed the effort to retake Terrace Hill as a battle for the soul of Iowa, something that may appeal to the frustrated progressive voters who are spoiling for an electoral fight with the GOP.
And the ad was well-done, but didn’t look over-produced. The people in it are all actual Iowans, with no stock footage.
His statewide tour should help build momentum for what is already a much buzzed-about candidacy. Several other candidates this year, including Andy McGuire, made a splash with their announcement, but then were nowhere to be seen in the weeks afterward.
Boulton’s website is live now as well here.
Details of his full statewide tour:
8:00 a.m. Columbus Junction Announcement
American Legion: 99 2nd St, Columbus Junction, IA 52738
12:00 p.m. Ottumwa Meet and Greet
Market on Main: 331 E Main St, Ottumwa, IA 52501
7:00 p.m. Des Moines Meet and Greet
Peace Tree Brewing: Peace Tree Brewing 317 E Court Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309
12:00 p.m. Davenport Meet and Greet
UFCW Hall: 2411 W Central Park Ave, Davenport, IA 52804
2:30 p.m. Mt. Pleasant Meet and Greet
Sip Coffee House: 120 S Main St #101, Mt Pleasant, IA 52641
6:00 p.m. Iowa City Meet and Greet
The Brewlab: 505 E Washington St, Iowa City, IA 52240
10:00 a.m. Dubuque Meet and Greet
Jubeck New World Brewing: 115 W 11th St, Dubuque, IA 52001
12:30 p.m. Independence Meet and Greet
Em’s Coffee: 324 1st St E, Independence, IA 50644
3:00 p.m. Waterloo Meet and Greet
Volks Haus: 324 E 4th St, Waterloo, IA 50703
5:30 p.m. Cedar Rapids Meet and Greet
C.S.P.S. Hall: 1103 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
12:00 p.m. Marshalltown Meet and Greet
The home of Bert and Carol Permar: 106 College View Lane, Marshalltown, IA 50158
3:00 p.m. Ames Meet and Greet
Cafe Diem: 229 Main St., Ames, IA 50010
6:00 p.m. Mason City Meet and Greet
Village Court Family Restaurant: 687 S Taft Ave #4, Mason City, IA 50401
11:30 a.m. Fort Dodge Meet and Greet
Old Boston: 809 Central Ave # 110, Fort Dodge, IA 50501
5:30 p.m. Sioux City Meet and Greet
Home of Ben Nesselhuf and Angie Schneiderman
3648 Lindenwood St Sioux City, IA 51104
12:00 p.m. Council Bluffs Meet and Greet
Barley’s: 114 W Broadway, Council Bluffs, IA 51503
by Pat Rynard